SMS surveys: yes or no?

Surveys are an awesome way to gather data. You can learn a lot from your current customers, as well as prospects who could start using your business (and what would make them tick).

In general, surveys are a quanti way of data gathering: you collect info from a large number of people, without a great deal of detail.

SMS Central - SMS Surveys: Yes or No?

When asked whether or not running a survey via SMS is possible, our answer is YES. Now, the main question is: should YOU run an SMS survey? Go through this checklist and find out.

What is the objective?

First thing you need to do is identify your target audience. Are they current customers or prospects?

For prospects, usually it's all about new product data gathering, or identifying barriers to convert.

For current customers, you can learn about what they want or need that you currently don't offer; you can gather feedback about your service; you can increase engagement by showing you care and listening and providing them a means to voice their opinions.

You can also fill in the holes in your database: ask them what state they are from, favourite colour, product of choice...  any details that could make your database more robust. This actually builds onto future surveys and SMS campaigns, since the more narrow and specific your contact lists are, the better your your conversion rates will be.

What is the survey design?

This is probably one of the biggest challenges when creating a survey. A bad design could actually hinder the results of your survey.

Here are some basic things you need to consider.

  • How many questions will your survey have?
  • What type of questions will you have?  Structured (usually multiple choice, with fixed responses) or open ended?
  • Are some of them related?
  • Is there a logic to it, a flow that changes depending on what they answer?
  • Are any of the questions or design flows biasing the answers?

What is the best channel?

With the objective and design in place, you can now understand what is the best channel.

SMS works wonders when you are targeting current customers. Prospects don't want to be messaging via their private number private data. However, current customers already know you and would be happy to share some intel with you.

Design also plays a big role on choosing the channel. Surveys with structured questions work best. They are quick, easy and, as long as you require 1 word reply, hassle free.

Surveys that don't require more than 3 answers (although that's the absolute max, 2 is the sweet spot) work very well via SMS. The key lies in identifying the flow of messages and logic.


If SMS surveys sound like something that could work for your business stay tuned! There's another post coming where I'll be sharing tips and tricks to set up SMS Surveys in SMS Central.

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